BUCKFIELD – An alert employee at a local wood turning business may have prevented a serious fire Thursday night at a local manufacturing plant when he noticed something was wrong in the boiler system.

Alan Chesney, co-owner of Wells Wood Turning and Finishing Inc., the company which bought out C.F. Wells in 2005, said the small fire in the fire feed unit of a boiler was doused by firefighters and employees using primarily hand-held fire extinguishers.

“It was a minor incident,” said Chesney of the fire that caused no damage to the business or the boiler.

The business is located at 46 John Ellingwood Road.

The fire started in the boiler system’s small fire feed unit where sawdust is automatically fed to the boiler.

The large commercial wood-burning boiler is used both to heat the structure, which houses about 35 employees, and to dry the wood.

Chesney said the wood is used to make custom wood turnings such as mini baseball bats and tool handles. The items are shipped both nationally and internationally.

Chesney said an employee noticed the unit was glowing “cherry red” and that was the only indication early on that a fire was out of control within the boiler unit..

He said the firefighters and employees doused the fire “very effectively” with the extinguishers.


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